Caitlin Zebley, MD, PhD

Instructor, St. Jude Faculty

Caitlin Zebley, MD, PhD

As a Pediatric Hematology/Oncology fellow at St. Jude, Caitlin Zebley, MD, realized that she wanted to contribute more through research to move the 80% cancer survival rate to 100%. This led to her interest in pursuing her degree from the St. Jude Graduate School with a focus on translational medicine.

Zebley earned bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and biology in 2008 from Iona College in New Rochelle, New York. During her undergraduate career, she worked on a NASA research project analyzing ozone in the middle atmosphere of Mars. She went on to complete her medical degree in 2012 from the Chicago Medical School in Illinois where she was involved in global health and worked in a mobile medical clinic in Keyna. After medical school, she completed Pediatric Residency at the University of Minnesota before coming to St. Jude.

Zebley currently works in the lab of Benjamin Youngblood, PhD, Immunology. Her research interests are in cancer immunotherapy. She earned her master’s degree from the St. Jude Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in June 2019.

“The most rewarding profession is one that not only treats the sick patients but also improves the treatment process by developing innovative therapies,” she says. “This is the philosophy at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the reason I am pursuing a graduate degree here.”

Hometown: Bloomington, Minnesota

Dissertation: Investigation of Specificity Determinants for CD8 T Cell Epigenetic Reprogramming

Honors and Awards

  • NIH LRP awardee 2019


Abdesladmed HA, Zebley CC, Youngblood B, 2017. Epigenetic maintenance of acquired gene expression programs during memory CD8 T cell homeostasis. Front Immunol 9: 6, 2018.

Abdelsamed HA, Zebley CC, Youngblood B. In vitro Homeostatic Proliferation of Human CD8 T Cells. Bio Protoc 7(22): e2619, 2017.

Abdelsamed HA, Moustaki A, Fan Y, Dogra P, Ghoneim HE, Zebley CC, Triplett BM, Sekaly RP, Youngblood B. Human memory CD8 T cell effector potential is epigenetically preserved during in vivo homeostasis. J Exp Med 214(6):1593-1606, 2017.